Friday, 7 September 2012
A Guid Scottish Makeover
Alex Salmond changed some faces round the Cabinet table this week and within 48 hours George Osborne paid a brief visit to Scotland to peddle another scaremongering message - taxes would rise in an independent Scotland. No mathematical detail was given but, as per No 10 and No 11 policy, the hope was the soundbite would be enough to make Scots shake in their shoes.
Back to the changes in the government. The Burd gave her opinion and although I agree with most of her remarks, I think the main purpose for the key move of Nicola Sturgeon from Health to Infrastructure and Capital Spending will not only give her space to handle the referendum, but it will give her experience in economic development - a skill necessary for all those aiming for leadership.
Nicola Sturgeon is Alex Salmond's heir apparent and whether or not the answer is Yes to the referendum, I believe Alex Salmond will not stay around too long as party leader. He looks tired more often than not and he has lost a bit of 'punch'. That's understandable when he has held the highest party office for so long and has seen numerous other party leaders come and go.
Ms Sturgeon has been competent with the Health brief and doubts about Alex Neil's ability to be as effective should be ignored. Alex Neil is a canny operator and will deliver although his style differs greatly from that of the Deputy First Minister.
My own MSP has kept his portfolio. John Swinney has been the single key to the SNP's success in government and since the 2007 election his performance has been impeccable. The SNP may not win the referendum but they would certainly lose it if John Swinney hadn't shown a quiet determination to care for Scotland's allocated budget so wisely.
The government's makeover has been well received by most. It will possibly be Alex Salmond's last reshuffle and I wish it every success.